Taking Money from Your TIAA-CREF Accounts

Why do I need to fill out the spousal waiver section? The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) requires spousal consent for certain transactions. If your employer is subject to ERISA rules or has elected to adopt the provisions, your spouse must approve and sign off on withdrawals.

Your spouse must sign the waiver in front of a Notary or, if still employed with the sponsoring institution, the designated Plan Representative. Additionally, your spouse’s signature cannot be dated before your signature.

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Where do I find my contract numbers? Your Contract Number is either your TIAA number or your CREF number, and can be found in two places:

On your enrollment confirmation documents...

Enrollment Confirmation Document

and on your quarterly statement.

Quarterly Review Statement

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How and when am I required to obtain Employer Authorization for a withdrawal?
Your employer’s plan rules generally determine when you are eligible to withdraw funds, and if your employer’s authorization is required before you can request a withdrawal.

For most plans, once you receive the employer authorization for your initial withdrawal, you can indicate "on file" for any future withdrawals; however, some plans require employer’s authorization for every withdrawal.

A licensed retirement consultant can help you determine whether or not you’ll need authorization from your employer, and give you the names of required signers. You’ll need to personally present, fax, or send the form to your employer to complete the authorization before sending the form to TIAA-CREF.

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What steps are required to begin Retirement Income?Within a year of retirement, you should have a retirement illustration prepared. The illustration gives you a projection of your potential income through the various lifetime income choices. To create an illustration online, log in to your account, click the Help & Resources tab and then choose Generate a Retirement Illustration. 

You can also receive projections for systematic cash withdrawals, fixed-period income, minimum distributions and interest-only payments.

Within six months of retirement, you should contact TIAA-CREF to request the forms you’ll need to complete to begin receiving income.

Complete all sections of the forms, sign and return your completed forms to TIAA-CREF about 90 days before you want to begin receiving income. Be sure to include a record of age for you and annuity partner (if applicable) for any lifetime income choices.

If your plan is subject to spousal rights (ERISA) and you are married, be sure to complete the spousal waiver section. If you are unmarried, please fill out the unmarried determination section.

If you have any questions or are unsure about any of the steps, call 800 842-2252 to speak with a licensed retirement consultant .
 

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What is the difference between the Minimum Distribution Option (MDO) and requesting my required minimum distributions as cash withdrawals?The MDO is designed to automatically calculate and send you the minimum amount you’re required to withdraw each year. It’s the easiest way to make sure you’re meeting the federal distribution requirements.

If you do not set up MDO payments, you’ll need to calculate the amount you need to receive on an annual basis and request a cash withdrawal each year to comply with the federal requirements.

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Can I fax my withdrawal form?You can fax lump-sum cash withdrawal forms and systematic cash withdrawal forms and have the funds deposited into your bank account as long as TIAA-CREF has your bank information on file. TIAA-CREF would have your bank information on file if you have had a payment sent to your bank in the past. If you are unsure, please call us at 800 842-2252. If your bank information is on file with TIAA-CREF, please complete the Direct Deposit section and write “Bank information on file” in the margin.

There are limits on faxing forms for certain types of plans. ERISA Plans (plans requiring spousal waiver or unmarried determination) can be faxed provided the withdrawal request is $50,000 or less. If your ERISA withdrawal is more than $50,000 you are required to mail your forms to TIAA-CREF. Non-ERISA plans (plans that do not require spousal waiver or unmarried determination) do not have a fax limit.

If your bank information is not on file and you would like a check to be sent to your mailing address, you can fax the form.

Note: If you are requesting a check to be mailed and your address has been changed within 14 days of the withdrawal request, a Letter of Authorization on the bank’s letterhead with the bank’s address is required. The letter must include the following:

  1. The name on the account, which must include the participant as one of the account holders.
  2. The address for the account owner/participant.
  3. The account number and account type.
  4. Bank Signature Guarantee, including bank stamp and/or seal, from an authorized bank personnel. If this is not included, the withdrawal request will not be processed. Withdrawal forms requesting a check to be mailed without a Bank Signature Guarantee must be received more than 14 days after the address change.

If your bank information is not on file and you would like the funds to be sent to your bank account, you are required to mail your forms to TIAA-CREF.

For direct deposit requests to a checking account, you must complete the Direct Deposit section of the forms and attach a matching original voided check for TIAA-CREF to process the direct deposit request and the transaction. Please note that starter checks are not acceptable.

For direct deposit requests to a savings account,  complete the Direct Deposit section of the forms and attach a Letter of Authorization from the receiving bank (on the bank’s letterhead with the bank’s address), that includes the following:

  • The name on the account, which must include the participant as one of the account holders.
  • The address for the account owner/participant.
  • The account number and account type.
  • ABA Routing Number.
  • Bank Signature Guarantee, including bank stamp and/or seal, from authorized bank personnel.

Our mailing address is:

TIAA-CREF
P.O.BOX 1268
Charlotte, NC 28201

Our overnight address is:

TIAA-CREF
8500 Andrew Carnegie Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28262

Our fax number is 800 914-8922.

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Can I fax my withdrawal forms and have my funds deposited into my bank account on file at TIAA-CREF?You can fax lump-sum cash withdrawal and systematic cash withdrawal forms and have the funds deposited into your bank account as long as TIAA-CREF has your bank information on file. In addition, fax limits apply to ERISA Plans (plans requiring spousal waiver or unmarried determination). If you have an ERISA Plan, your faxed withdrawal request must be $50,000 or less. If your ERISA withdrawal is more than $50,000 you are required to mail your forms to TIAA-CREF Non-ERISA cash withdrawals have no fax limit (plans that do not require spousal waiver or unmarried determination). Our fax number is 800 914-8922.

You cannot fax forms for Lifetime Income, Fixed-Period Income, Minimum Distribution Option, Transfer Payout Annuity or Interest-Only Payments.

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Why is a Medallion Signature Guarantee required for certain Retail Class Mutual Fund transactions?For certain transactions (for example, when you are redeeming shares within 30 days of changing your address, bank account or adding new services to an existing account), a Medallion Signature Guarantee is required for each owner of record on an account. This requirement is designed to protect you from fraud, and to comply with rules on stock transfers.

A Medallion Signature Guarantee is a written endorsement from an eligible guarantor institution that the signature(s) on the request is (are) valid. Certain commercial banks, trust companies, savings associations, credit unions and members of the United States stock exchange participate in the Medallion Signature Guarantee program.

No other form of signature verification will be accepted. A notary public cannot provide a signature guarantee. For more information about when a signature guarantee is required, please call 800 897-9059 to speak with a mutual fund specialist.

 

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© 2013 and prior years, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association - College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF), New York, NY 10017